Definition and Description
Opiates are drugs derived from opium which comes from the poppy plant. Opioids contain compounds that are similar to opiates. Opioids include synthetic opiates. Most people use the blanket term “opiates” however for opioids.
Common opioids and opiates include:
What does it look like and how is it taken?
Opiates come in an array of forms including powder, pill and liquid. People can ingest, smoke, inject, or inhale depending on the drug. They vary in color. Opiates such as Oxycontin come in pills that vary in color; whereas, Vicodin is always white. Heroin can be a white powder, white crystals or sometimes can even be brown. Morphine comes in various color pills and in liquid form.
Illegal or Legal?
Some opiates such as Oxycontin, Vicodin, Demerol and Percocet are legal to possess with a prescription from a doctor. Those such as Morphine are legal when administered by a medical professional. Opiates such as heroin are always illegal. Any of the drug taken without a prescription from a doctor is illegal.
Street Names for Opioids
- Heroin includes: H, skag, smack, black tar, junk, dragon, dope, loads
- Oxycontin includes: oxy, OC’s, O, ox, cotton, 40, 40-bar, 80
- Morphine includes: M, white stuff, pectoral syrup
- Percocet and Vicodin include: percs, perks, pain killer, vikes, hydros,
- Tylenol with Codeine includes: T1, T2, T3, T4
- Methadone includes: methadose, meth, dollies, junk
Why are Opiates or Opioids taken?
Most opiates relieve pain, so many doctors prescribe opiates. However, both the prescribed patient and others that may steal the drug from the patient can abuse the drug. It creates a sense of well-being and react with the brain to create feelings of euphoria. Because of the euphoric “high” opiates produce, they are often abused.
Dangers and side effects
Opiates are generally very addictive. Prolonged usage inhibits the brain from producing endorphins. This is the body’s natural painkiller. Without endorphins the body is likely to feel, thus the addict needs more and more opiates to produce the same relief. Because users become tolerant to the drug and need higher dosages to produce the same “high,” opiate abusers are at a high risk for overdoses. High doses of opiates can lead to cardiac arrest and/or respiratory arrest which can lead to death.
Side effects include:
Slurred or slowed speech, slowed breathing and heart rate, constricted pupils, watery eyes, drowsiness, weight loss, diarrhea, headaches, nausea, vomiting and itchy skin. Psychological side effects include: loss of concentration, confusion, anxiety, depression, and extreme mood swings.
Drug Testing for Opiates or Opioids
The dangers and risks of using opiates illegally are severe. If you suspect that a friend or loved one is abusing opiates, there are ways to confirm your suspicions. uVera Diagnostics is a drug testing company that supplies drug test kits. From small quantities to large bulk orders, uVera Diagnostics has a drug testing product that is right for you. Order online or call 1-866-242-5930.
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You can also read our blog, Opioid Epidemic Puts Your Business at Risk – But You Can Help End the Crisis and Opiates vs Opioids. Are they the same?